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Multidisciplinary Psychosocial Cancer Research Group (MOPSY)

The multidisciplinary psychosocial cancer research group (MOPSY) was formed in 2011 when a funding application was submitted for a project titled QPro: Psychosocial dimensions of treatment and care-decisions of localized prostate cancer. The project was led by Professor Teuvo Tammela (University of Tampere) and with the application we secured funding from the Pirkanmaa Cancer Association for 2012-2014. From that point onwards, the research group has expanded both in terms of members and areas of research. The group takes a multidisciplinary and multimethod approach as it studies the impact of cancer on people’s lives; the ways in which patients attempt to cope with treatment side-effects; and how they manage the uncertainties caused by the illness. The group consists of researchers from different disciplines, including public health, medicine, gender studies, social work, health sociology, nursing sciences, health policy and social gerontology.

If you want to know more about our research, the group member’s contact details can be found below and a full list of our publications can be found here.

MOPSY’s ongoing research projects:

  • QPro3: Life-satisfaction after prostate cancer treatments: a follow-up study with interview and survey data (2017-2020)
    For more information, contact the project coordinator(s): Anna-Maija Talvitie or Laura Lahti
  • Public health services and voluntary sector organisations as the providers of psychosocial support for cancer patients (2018-2020)
    For more information, contact the project coordinator(s): Eeva Harju or Marjaana Jones

Contact details:
Ilkka Pietilä, PhD,

Pietilä is an Assistant Professor of social gerontology at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki. His research explores people’s gendered interpretations of health and ageing and he has studied the treatment choices of men with prostate cancer, men’s ways of coping with cancer renewal and the insecurities related to treatment side-effects. Pietilä is one of the founding members of the Multidisciplinary Psychosocial Cancer Research group (MOPSY).



Hanna Ojala, PhD,

Ojala is a Senior Research Fellow at Tampere University Institute for Advanced Social Research. Her research has focused on intersections of age, gender and social class within various contexts of men’s ageing, such as health and anti-ageing. Recently, she has studied illness narratives of prostate cancer, gendered decision-making processes of prostate cancer treatments, and quality of life after prostate cancer. Ojala has expertise in qualitative methods, especially interviewing. Ojala is one of the founding members of the Multidisciplinary Psychosocial Cancer Research group (MOPSY).


Teuvo Tammela, Professor and Chief of Urology,

Tammela works as the Professor of Surgery at Tampere University and as the Chief of urology at Tampere University Hospital. He is a distinguished researcher, whose work combines both clinical and epidemiological research. Throughout his career, Tammela has advanced prostate cancer research and collaborative research in a number of ways. Currently he is the lead for the QPro3-project, which focuses on life-satisfaction following prostate cancer treatment.


Eeva Harju, PhD,

Harju works as a university teacher in the Tampere University in nursing science. Her research interests include the health-related quality of life and the marital relationship between prostate cancer patients and their spouses. In addition, her expertise includes quantitative research methods and follow-up research. She is currently coordinating the “Public health services and voluntary sector organisations as the providers of psychosocial support for cancer patients” research project and is involved in carrying out a qualitative role in the research project “Effect of controlled physical exercises on side effects and physical activity of castration treatment of prostate cancer”.

Suvi Holmberg, PhD,

Holmberg’s phd study explores suffering from breast and prostate cancer in the context of everyday life where cancer is approached as a social and cultural phenomenon. Special research interests include constructions of death, sexuality and agency in daily life with cancer. Currently Holmberg works as a University Instructor at Tampere University in degree programme in Social Work.

Marjaana Jones, PhD,

Jones’ doctoral thesis focused on patient and public involvement in health services. Her research interests include cancer peer support, lived illness experiences, lay knowledge/experiential knowledge and the role of patient/cancer organisations. Jones has expertise in qualitative health research. Currently she acts as a joint coordinator for the research project “Public health services and voluntary sector organisations as the providers of psychosocial support for cancer patients” and works as a researcher on a project funded by the Academy of Finland titled Mediating Expertise.


Anna-Maija Talvitie, M.H.Sc.,

Talvitie is working as a doctoral researcher at Tampere University. Her field of study is health sociology, and the research focuses on prostate cancer patients’ quality of life changes after receiving cancer treatment. Anna-Maija is especially interested in quality of life measurements, and in different methodological approaches that can be applied in the study. She is currently collecting new data for QPro3-project, and taking part in developing quality control for prostate cancer treatment in the Pirkanmaa district.


Laura Lahti, M.H.Sc.,

Lahti works as a researcher on the QPro3 project and is responsible for the project’s questionnaire data collection. She collaborates closely with Tampere University Hospital. Lahti is a nurse by profession and holds a Master’s degree in health sciences. In 2021 Lahti has also began her own PhD studies and her research will focus on gender specific cancers.


Annastiina Hakulinen, M.H.Sc.,

Annastiina Hakulinen works as a researcher on three projects: QPro3, Public health services and voluntary sector organisations as the providers of psychosocial support for cancer patients, and Effects of supervised exercise on treatment-related side effects and physical activity in men receiving androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer.



Raisa Jurva, M.Soc.Sc,

Jurva works as a doctoral researcher in Gender Studies at Tampere University. Her doctoral study focuses on entanglements of power and affect in heterosexual relationships. Moreover, she is interested in norms, ideals and gender connentions that pattern intimate relationships and life courses. Theoretically, she draws on feminist and queer research traditions and affect theories. Her doctoral study is part of the Academy of Finland funded research project “Just the Two of Us? Affective inequalities in intimate relationships” (287983).